Mr. Shashank Khaitan
Writer - Director

Film Review
Humpty Sharma ki Dulhania:Mock-tale of a Classic Cocktail

Mock-tale of a Classic Cocktail

Disclaimer – Review contains spoilers and opinions expressed are personal of reviewer and FWA does not dis/agree with them..

Most Important thing first –
Cast – David Dhawan’s Son, Mahesh Bhatt’s daughter et.al.

FACT – There are rare times when critics and audience are on same bandwidth, now do you still have a minority to support?
fact – Yes, indeed. The minority that feel DDLJ is a timeless evergreen classic and don’t agree if it were to be remade in today’s time, it will be something like Humpty Dulhania sat on a wall.. Humpty Dulhania made a smart video call..
DDLJ for all good reasons was running till recently and we know any generation when shown both the films what they will pick-up.

FACT – But what is a big problem in remaking classics?
fact – Why can’t we look for something new.. why not aim at making another DDLJ (read phenomenal film), than remake it. We see your kids acting, we see you making films from within your available library, why can’t we look beyond our kitty? Search for new ideas, new talent, new horizons..
Audience like something, you add your masala to it.. you are not a creative chef but a smart one.

FACT – Work Smart Not Hard is the Mantra these days..
fact – Unfortunately with that mantra we may make more no. of successful films not more satisfying ones. And smartness can’t cheat discerning eyes..

The plot is exactly similar to DDLJ – but while DDLJ absorbs you all in the first half, in HSKD you don’t know what’s going on till the interval? Indian audience loyal like Indian wives, stay put so get some relief in the second half otherwise we are wondering where’s the story going. In DDLJ we feel the pain of their separation and want them to become one, in HSKD both separate casually and appear fine rather more adjusted in their otherwise unsuitable routine.

In DDLJ the problem was to convince an upright father and there was no gimmick about him. Here Humpty is given a task to find a single vice in Kavya’s would be husband who is Mr. Perfect. Humpty is all zeroes in front of that Hero. How he does that is the challenge. Now if we call that your smart masala over DDLJ’s ‘would be’ who was full of vices then we disagree. In DDLJ the Antagonist (Amrish Puri) was strong and he was to be conquered. Here you have diluted the Antagonist and set him up as a device for the resolution – that he himself was love-married. Then why all of sudden due to one instance he became love-phobic? A man who enjoyed fruits of love marriage for decades now becomes anti-love in a couple of years? You had to do this because you made the rival perfect. You divided the antagonist. And thus the problem transfers to finding one weakness in Mr. Perfect which is a pseudo challenge. Because question was not finding rival’s weakness, question was to convince her father of your love. How can one accept such disjointed challenge under assumption that a stranger would have some vice? And worse this doesn’t happen. He comes back to convincing her father of his love for her. So why take a detour of finding rival’s vices.. Finding rival’s weakness is no way connected with the core problem. Then convincing father happens in a dialogue, telling not showing. Though dialogue are otherwise funny at places, this convincing doesn’t come through at all. It mainly banks on telling father that you like me, because I am like you, (recall the father’s character was set up as device for this resolution). If this was the resolution, it could have come well before..

Coming to characters.. While SRK remains same mischievous fellow in DDLJ all through Humpty does things which fail to convince you as a real character. He begins as a pure flirt then is seen getting fresh with girls, and approaches Kavya casually. Why suddenly he feels differently for her doesn’t come out convincingly? He doesn’t want to cheat even when offered to by examiner, but goes to extreme levels of harassing/bribing the moderator. Myriads of such things which give you a feel if real living characters would be like this.

Kavya, is a small town girl who will outshine most Mumbai-Delhi girls. She can do bottoms up as many times as you guys can.. She is confident in dealing with guys & goons, cracking deals prima facie, jumping walls in midnight. Everyone out there is smart, small town folks more.

Some other questions - The film begins with both of them struggling for money. At interval he buys a 2.5 Lac Lehanga for her and she buys a small car for him. If she had money to buy a car then why did she set on a journey to arrange funds?
What happens to the Rival’s team in the climax? They go quietly? When she wants to run away she goes ahead alone without informing him and calls him when she boards the train, surprise/smart elopement. She tells him to board a running train, reverse DDLJ style, he asks her to get down because she can’t ditch her family like that. This all looks pretty confusing. Then what finally convinces the father.. you have to assume his heart melts.

In DDLJ, he takes the girl – he wins her & the father.. In HSKD father brings her baraat to him.. The climax justifies the treatment, whether you fight for something and win or you get it on a platter..

FACT – May I have my drink now, if you have finished talking..           
fact – I know you will, but mind you it’s just a mocktail aping the classic cocktail. You may enjoy it while you drink but it won’t give you any Nasha.. forget getting anywhere close to the DDLJ’s hangover of years.

   Sanjay Sharma


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